If you have been watching the sky, you may have noticed the moon has basically been “disappearing” over the past few days as it moves into waning crescent/new moon phase. BUT, you can be your own moon during this “dark” phase by practicing the half moon pose or Ardha Chandrasana (are-dah chan-DRAHS-anna)!
In Sanskrit, ardha translates as “half” and candra means glittering, shining, having the brilliancy or hue of light and can be translated as “moon“.
“Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana) invites you to tap into both the calm, balancing energy of the moon and the fiery force of the sun,” according to yogajournal.com. “The moon has a rich symbolic significance in yoga mythology. In hatha yoga, for example, the sun and the moon represent the two polar energies of the human body. In fact, the word hatha itself is often divided into its two constituent syllables, “ha” and “tha”, which are then esoterically interpreted as signifying the solar and lunar energies respectively.”
“Half Moon Pose is a great asana for learning how to balance and grow awareness in what can at first seem a disorienting position.”
Yoga Basics offers the following instructions for achieving the half moon pose:
1. From High Lunge with the left foot forward, inhale and step forward into the left foot, straightening the left leg. Straighten the right leg up parallel to the floor.
2. Staring at a point on the floor, place the left palm directly under the left shoulder and carefully bring the right hand to the right hip. Roll the right hip up and back so the hips face the side wall.
3. Inhale the right fingertips up towards the ceiling. Turn the head to face the side wall. Work on turning the whole torso to face the side wall.
4. Breathe and hold for 3-5 breaths.
5. To release: exhale and slowly bring both hands back to the floor and step the foot back into High Lunge.
6. Repeat on other side.
You can watch a video here on the half moon yoga pose.
Posing tips, offered by Kat Heagberg through Yoga International include:
• Keeping your front knee aligned, press your front foot down into the floor, and resist it to the right, as though you were trying to turn your front foot out, but can’t because it’s stuck to the floor.
• Keep that, and press your back foot against the wall, and resist up, as though someone was trying to push your back thigh down and you were resisting against them (your foot and leg won’t actually move, you’re just resisting).
• Maintaining this dual resistance (pressing down and resisting out with the front foot, and pressing back into the wall and resisting up with the back foot), you might even find that you’re so stable that you can not only extend your top arm up, but you might even be able to lift your bottom hand away from the block!
The pose can ease lower-back problems, relieving sacrum pain, sciatica pain, and lumbar aches, and therapeutic applications include anxiety, osteoporosis, fatigue, constipation, gastritis, indigestion, and menstrual pain.
Would you like to learn more about the half moon pose? Bring your glittering, shining, brilliant self to Sunrise Yoga and let one of our glittering, shining, brilliant instructors assist you! We would be over the moon to work with you!
Check out our class schedule to find a class that works for you. Email us at email@example.com for more information.
Kim and her husband, Lynn, have a new little cowgirl in the family, their granddaughter, 6 month old Emersyn, and they are looking forward to entertaining and educating her at their “mini farm”. On the farm they have horses, cows, chickens, dogs, and a miniature donkey, all wonderful things for “Lolly” and “Pop” to show off to Emersyn!
Kim teaches Chair Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Back Care Yoga, Level One Yoga, and All Levels Yoga at Sunrise Yoga. You can find her teaching schedule here.
Kim came to yoga hoping to improve range of motion after breast cancer treatments. She found that yoga brought her so much more than physical flexibility and strength. The awareness and peacefulness that she found with yoga encouraged her to deepen her practice.
Kim completed a 330-hour teacher training program at Triad Yoga Institute and began teaching in 2008. She graduated from the Sunrise Yoga Teacher Training program as a 500-hour Certified Yoga Teacher and is now a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT500) with Yoga Alliance.
If you have had any classes with Kim, leave her some love here on the blog or send her a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.